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Doctor of Nursing Practice​

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs at Rhode Island College are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (​).​


Educating and empowering nurses to enrich the health and well-being of all people.

Approved May, 2016

For DNP information, contact program director:

Justin DiLibero Justin DiLibero​
Assistant Professor, Director of D.N.P Program/Graduate Department
Nursing Education Center 350 Eddy Street-100M, Providence, RI
(401) 456-9720

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Description

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is the terminal degree in nursing for practice. Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates are prepared at the highest level of practice and are prepared to serve in advanced clinical and leadership positions. The DNP is specifically prepared to function as a systems level change leader and practice scholar who is able to effectively and efficiently translate research evidence into practice to drive meaningful, sustainable and transferrable change, and to develop new practice knowledge necessary to bridge the gap between available knowledge and current practice, contribute to the scientific knowledge base for practice, and advance the profession.

The DNP program at Rhode Island College is aligned with the Doctor of Nursing Practice essentials (AACN, 2006) and includes the following program goals and expected outcomes.

Program Goals

Program Expected Outcomes

Integrate scientific knowledge from nursing and related disciplines as the basis for clinical practice and practice scholarship Competency in scientific underpinnings for practice
Demonstrate leadership and systems thinking to design, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to ensure quality, cost-effective health care for individuals and populations Competency in organizational and systems leadership for quality improvement and systems thinking
Develop, analyze, implement, evaluate and disseminate evidence based best practice and clinical scholarship Competency in clinical scholarship and analytic methods for evidence-based practice
Impact the selection of and evaluate system, patient care, and population-focused technologies to improve health outcomes Competency in systems/technology and patient care technology for the improvement and transformation of health care
Influence health care policy and advocate for  ethical policies, equity and social justice, access to quality, culturally relevant health care, and elimination of health disparities Competency in health care policy for advocacy in health care
Lead interprofessional collaborative teams to improve individual, system, and population- focused health outcomes Competency in interprofessional collaboration and improving patient and population health outcomes
Implement and evaluate health promotion and disease prevention approaches and initiatives to improve individual and population health outcomes Competency in clinical prevention and population health for improving the nation’s health
Demonstrate advanced clinical judgment and systems thinking to impact health care at the individual, system, and population level. Competency in advanced nursing practice

By attaining doctoral level competencies in these areas, students are prepared to participate as full scholars in the effective translation of evidence into practice and achievement of optimal outcomes at the patient, population and system levels.

Admission Requirements

A completed application accompanied by a fifty-dollar nonrefundable application fee.

Admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is competitive. Ideal candidates demonstrate a history of academic success, strong leadership, and potential for future success in leadership and practice scholarship. Applications are submitted on-line through CollegeNET and are available at:​.

Specific requirements for admission include:

  1. Current unrestricted Registered Nurse licensure in the state of intended practice
  2. Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or
         a. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a master’s degree in nursing or a related field
  3. Attainment of a cumulative masters GPA of 3.0 or higher
  4. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended
  5. Completion of a graduate-level inferential statistics course within the past five years with a minimum grade of C is required prior to matriculation
  6. Verification of the number of clinical/experience hours completed at the masters/graduate level. Verification should be provided by the program director or chairperson on school letterhead.
  7. A statement of intent which should demonstrate the candidate's leadership and practice experience, reasons for pursuing doctoral study, and the student's potential area of focus for the DNP Scholarly Project. This statement should be representative of the applicant’s writing ability. The statement should be 2-4 pages, double-spaced, and written in 12-point font.
  8. Current resume or curriculum vitae
  9. Three letters of recommendation.

  10. Additional Requirements for International Students:

  11. Applicants with international degrees must have their transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited institution in the United States
  12. An official report of scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) from international applicants who are from countries where English is not the first language.

Further information for international graduate students can be found at:​.

Applicants may be asked to participate in an interview prior to admission

* Applicants may apply no more than three times to a program option of the Graduate Nursing Program

Admission Deadline


Accepted Status

  1. To be accepted as a DNP degree candidate, applicants are expected to have attained an average of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in their undergraduate and graduate work. However, provisional acceptance may be granted and determined on an individual basis to students with a cumulative grade point average of less than 3.0. Applicants with graduate averages below this level may be admitted to degree candidacy upon the submission of other evidence of academic potential, i.e., satisfactory performance in post-baccalaureate work, professional experience as evidenced by publications and/or letters of recommendation.
  2. Students who are considering admission must also meet program pre-requirements before they are considered matriculated.

Non-Matriculated Status

  1. Persons holding a Master’s degree who are pending DNP application may take courses in a non-matriculating status on a space available basis.
  2. Non-matriculating students must contact the graduate office in order to register for classes. If non-matriculating students later wish to be admitted to a degree program, they must complete the regular admission procedure.
  3. Credits earned at Rhode Island College by a student in non-matriculating status before admission to a degree program may be used toward degree requirements only upon the recommendation of the student’s advisor or SON Graduate Committee, and with the approval of the Academic Dean. No more than a total of six credits of work taken at Rhode Island College by a non-matriculating student may be applied towards degree requirements for the DNP program (Rhode Island College Graduate Studies Manual).

Course Progression

The DNP courses are delivered in hybrid format allowing for the networking and social interaction that foster strong professional relationships, while affording the flexibility required of adult learners with competing demands and priorities. The hybrid format optimizes the use of both online and face-to-face formats, with a focus on delivering world-class education that is accessible to students within Rhode Island, across the region, and across the country.

A total of 36 credit hours is required for completion of the program. The program requires completion of all coursework within 7 years; however, a maximum of 4 years is recommended. The typical plan of study allows completion of coursework in 3 years (7 semesters including 1 summer semester), although full-time students may complete the program in 2 years.

Recommended Plans of Study

Course Requirements - Full Time Students
(2 Years; 5 Semesters)

First Semester (Fall)

NURS 702 Leadership/Quality Improvement 3 cr
NURS 701 Scientific Underpinnings for Clinical Scholarship 3 cr
NURS 703 Advanced Epidemiology and Biostatistics
3 cr

Second Semester (Spring)

NURS 704 Clinical Research/Analytic Methods
3 cr
NURS 791 Directed Readings I 1 cr
NURS 708 Interprofessional Collaborative Practice 3 cr
NURS 720 DNP Proposal Development 1 cr

Third Semester (Summer)

NURS 730 DNP Proposal Development
3 cr

Fourth Semester (Fall)

NURS 707 Information Technology/Decision Support
3 cr
NURS 709 Population Health
3 cr
NURS 792 Directed Readings II
1 cr
NURS 740 DNP Project Implementation
2 cr

Fifth Semester  (Spring)

NURS 706 Economics, Finance and Business Management 3 cr
NURS 705 Health Policy and Advocacy 3 cr
NURS 750 DNP Project Evaluation & Dissemination
1 cr
  Total Credit Hours 36

Course Requirements - Part Time students
(3 Years; 7 Semesters)

First Semester (Fall)

NURS 702 Leadership/Quality Improvement 3 cr
NUR​S 701 Scientific Underpinnings for Clinical Scholarship 3 cr

Second Semester (Spring)

NURS 704 Clinical Research/Analytic Methods
3 cr
NURS 791 Directed Readings I 1 cr
NURS 708 Interprofessional Collaborative Practice 3 cr
Third Semester (Fall)              
NURS 703 Advanced Epidemiology and Biostatistics 3 cr
NURS 709 Population Health 3 cr
NURS 792 Directed Readings II 1 cr

Fourth Semester (Spring)

NURS 706 Economics, Finance, Business Management 3 cr
NURS 720 DNP Project Planning Seminar
1 cr

Fifth Semester (Summer)

NURS 730 DNP Proposal Development 3 cr

Sixth Semester (Fall)

NURS 707 Information Technology/Decision Support
3 cr
NURS 740 DNP Project Implementation
2 cr

Seventh Semester (Spring)

NURS 705 Health Policy and Advocacy 3 cr
NURS 750 DNP Project Evaluation & Dissemination
1 cr
  Total Credit Hours 36 cr

Click here for a full list of course descriptions.


The school of nursing Handbook for Doctor of Nursing Practice Students provides details and essential information about the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Page last updated: March 03, 2020